I was born and raised in California, received my B.A. in history from the University of California at Santa Cruz, an M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary, and did some doctoral work at U.C. Davis. I served as a Presbyterian pastor for 10 years, four in Mexico City and 6 in Sacramento, before becoming a journalist. As for professional achievements in that area:
I’ve spent 28 years as an editor with these magazines:
Leadership, a leading journal for pastors.
Christian History, a popular history magazine.
Christianity Today, a leading religious journal in America, a magazine of news and commentary. I am currently the editor.
The Behemoth, our former digital magazine, which sought to help readers experience awe and wonder about God and the creation.
I’ve published dozens of articles in a variety of magazines, from devotional pieces ( like The Upper Room) to commentary on current events (New York Times) to more philosophical musings (Books & Culture).
I’ve written or co-written 9 books (as of January 2012), from biographies (St. Francis of Assisi, and a forthcoming work on theologian Karl Barth–due out late September 2017), to books on spirituality (like Jesus Mean and Wild and Chaos and Grace: Discovering the Liberating Work of the Holy Spirit) and liturgy (Beyond Bells & Smells: The Wonder and Power of Christian Liturgy).
I’ve led workshops on both writing and editing for professional associations. I’ve done free-lance editing for book publishers and businesses (like Baker and Lee Hecht Harrison and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans).
On a personal note: I’ve been married to Barbara for 41 years, have three grown children, and four grandchildren. I currently live in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Extracurricular passions include fly fishing and camping out in my small trailer.